Army

'Honeytraps, Hacking And Spin' - What Russia Could Have In Store For British Troops

As they deploy to Estonia, British troops are being advised to be vigilant.The Estonia Information Board (EIB), the country's main...

As they deploy to Estonia, British troops are being advised to be vigilant.

The Estonia Information Board (EIB), the country's main intelligence agency, is warning Russia is likely to make a concerted effort to compromise or tarnish the reputation of British soldiers.

In an interview with the Times, EIB head, Mikk Marran, said that a number of methods are likely to be employed.

Honeytraps, hacking social media accounts, and/or staged public brawls designed to make British soldiers look like thugs may be used.

Several newspapers reported last November that a fight involving British soldiers in Latvia was being investigated as a possible PR stunt used by Russia to tarnish the reputation of UK troops.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the allegations.

Discussions between Estonian and British officials have been ongoing for months in preparation for the arrival of 800 British soldiers (from 5 RIFLES) in the Baltic country along with 300 French troops.

They form part of one of the four NATO battalions in the Baltic states and Poland.

Mr Marran said he is keen for British soldiers to avoid becoming entangled in any "Cold War style spy games" while they are in Estonia.

Indeed, although Honeytraps, whereby a serving soldier or official is seduced in order to obtain sensitive information or do something unwise (i.e. something that might get them blackmailed), have been used by spies throughout history, the Cold War has plenty of examples of its own.

In an article entitled 'The History of the Honey Trap', Foreign Policy lists four examples of it being used to great effect during the Cold War period.


One example is of Israeli technician Mordechai Vanunu who told the Sunday Times that his country had initiated a nuclear weapons program.

However, Mossad agents got wind that he was in London and, not wanting to risk provoking a diplomatic incident, deployed an attractive girl to entice him into going 'on holiday' to Rome.

Once he arrived, he was pounced on, drugged, and taken back to Israel where he was thrown in prison.


British Secretary of State for War John Profumo probably didn't reveal any secrets, but the mere fact that he turned out to be having an affair with a woman named Christine Keeler who was also sleeping with Soviet attache Yevgeny Ivanov meant he could have.

The furore that erupted in the press and the government ended his career.


Women can and have been targeted.

The higher number of women in important positions in German society following the deaths of many German men in World War II made them a target for the Stasi.


Homosexual relationships have been used.

The fact that homosexuality itself was taboo for so long made it a method of blackmail.

This is what happened to the Daily Telegraph's Moscow correspondent Jeremy Wolfenden, who was photographed secretly having sex with a male lover who seduced him in Russia.

The resulting compromising material was used to force Wolfenden to spy on the Western community there.

He bravely reported the incident to his embassy, but only got dragged further into the mess when MI6 asked him to work instead as a double agent.

Highly stressed, he became an alcoholic and died from a cerebral haemorrhage from a fall in the bathroom - his friends swearing the pressure had undermined his will to live.


Cover image: Tallinn, the capital of Estonia (image: Maigi)

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